What’s hot: April 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world right now


Being vegan on Virgin

Virgin has become the first train operator to offer a vegan-friendly menu to its passengers. Vegan travellers can tuck into a vegan breakfast pot packed with mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans and spinach or vegan chilli for dinner. A Mediterranean pasta salad is offered in first class.

China in your hand

Hong Kong
Hong Kong at night during the Symphony of Light

A new high-speed bullet train now links the buzzy metropolis of Hong Kong with the spectacular scenery of Guilin, meaning travellers can take in karst peaks and soaring skyscrapers in just three hours. The high-speed bullet train is a cheaper and far more convenient way of travelling between the two destinations.

Best book

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe and Rough Guides is publishing a special book to commemorate this historic event. The book charts the route taken by the allies during the liberation and is being published in partnership with the Liberation Route Europe Foundation, a charity dedicated to keeping the story of the liberation alive.
The book, which contains fascinating stories about the human story of the liberation (such as what happened during various Resistance movements and the role women played in the war effort), aims to encourage people to travel the ‘liberation route’ and follow in the footsteps of the allied soldiers in 1944-45.

The story of the liberation of Europe is as relevant today as it ever was, and perhaps now it is more important than ever to reflect on our hard-fought freedoms and how they came to pass, long after the stories no longer exist in living memory. The book will be published in the summer of 2019 and can be pre-ordered here.

Time out on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
Google “is Turkey safe?” and chances are you’ll get an array of different answers. The real answer, of course, depends on where you want to visit. If it’s Turkey’s beautiful turquoise coast, the answer is YES. The coastline is blessed with amazing beaches, fabulous landscapes, sensational food and brilliant hotels. Better still, it’s one of the cheapest summer destinations on the market.

All aboard MSC Bellissima

The world’s sixth-largest cruise ship launched last month in Southampton. MSC Bellissima which was built in Saint Nazaire in France at a cost of $1bn (£750m) is the largest cruise ship ever to have  been christened in the UK.
The 5,686-passenger vessel was  christened by cinema legend Sophia Loren in Southampton, with TV presenter Holly Willoughby, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and three-time Grammy Award-winner Nile Rodgers and his band Chic, and Southampton’s own chart-topper Craig David, on hand to entertain guests at the naming ceremony.

Bellissima is curently sailing seven-night itineraries across the Mediterranean calling at Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Valletta and Malta. She’ll spend the winter in the UAE with stops at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat and Khasab.

Exploring Egypt

Egypt is on the up once again, not least because of the new Grand Egyptian Museum which is scheduled to open in 2020.
Located in Giza, overlooking the pyramids, the US$1 billion new building will become the world’s largest museum devoted to a single civilisation.



Lufthansa is taking action against skiplaggers

You might not be familiar with the phrase but chances are you (or someone you know) will have “skiplagged” at least once in the past. Skiplagging is where passengers  save money on an airfare by booking a ticket via the destination they actually want to visit and getting off there (at the layover) rather than the final destination.
The practice made headlines earlier this year, when Lufthansa sued a passenger who saved money by skipping a leg of a round-trip ticket.

The German airline is suing for more than US$2,000 and other airlines are also cracking down on Skiplagging so, our message is this… proceed with caution.

Taking time out in term time

Parents could be punished – and heavily – for taking their children on holiday in term time under plans put forward by Lancashire County Council who are considering issuing fines of £1,000 per child, per parent. The current penalty across the UK is £120 per child.

A council spokesman said: “We really believe that children going to school is incredibly important, and people were asked to think of ways to increase attendance – this was one option.”

Making a beeline for Bali


The Indonesian island of Bali is the latest destination to consider the introduction of a foreign tourist tax. Bali’s popularity has soared in recent years sparking fears that a surge in visitor numbers could have a negative impact on the island. A $10 per person tax has been mooted, but it is not clear when and how it might be introduced.

Climbing Uluru

Uluru isn’t just a rock to the indigenous Anangu people; rather it’s a big part of their Dreamtime beliefs – which is why JAT is pleased that there will be a ban on climbing the rock come October 2019.

Instead explore the magic of this landscape by circling the base and gaining an insight into Uluru and all that it stands for, from your aboriginal guide. Or just simply watch the rock change from orange to sizzling red when the sun sets.

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